AAMBC Review 5 *****
Paulette Jones has a knack for storytelling dialogue. Generational hatred affects the lives of Mema, Lillian, Gail, and Nicole in Herstory. Years after slavery, Mema is forced to become a four-year old sex slave to pay off her father’s death. Her tumultuous childhood caused her to feel abandoned and melancholy, emotions that she carried with her for the rest of her life and passed on to her daughter, Lillian. Gail, Lillian’s half-sister, is also tormented by the need of belonging. Her internal struggles led to infidelity, instability, and nearly caused her daughter Nicole to commit suicide.
This is not a story of depression and defeat, however, Herstory is a tale of triumph, perseverance, and tenacity. Gail and Lillian improved with a little assistance from Mrs. Florence. Lillian was able to break the traumatic cycle of hatred. She had two successful marriages and gave birth to three intelligent, productive children. Gail took control of her life and returned to her husband and daughter.
As great as this story was, there were some moments of confusion. Initially italics were used to show when someone was talking. Towards the middle of the novel, the italics were used inconsistently and at the end the traditional quotes were used. Also, Patrick, Lillian’s second husband, disappeared for about four chapters. There was no mention of him at all, I thought I missed a section where he died or went out of town, but in the last chapter, he resurfaced. I wouldn’t have noticed either of these items if I wasn’t so engaged in the prose and characters.
With only minor criticisms, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed Herstory. I was enthralled by the lives of Lillian and her family. I hope this is not the last time the world hears from Paulette Jones.